WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

FBI Aids Investigation Into Mosque Vandalism

Play associated audio

The FBI is investigating vandalism at a mosque in Harrisonburg, Va., which was spray-painted with obscene graffiti. Obscene language and pictures, along with the phrase, "This is America" were scrawled on the the Islamic Center of Shenandoah Valley.

"Nothing should be off the table," says Nihad Awad, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, calling for a full federal investigation. "We should follow every lead because we are about the safety of the community."

The FBI is assisting local authorities in the investigation, according to Lawrence Barry from the FBI office in Richmond.

The council has seen a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment on social media. Awad believes the acts stem from misplaced anger over extremist activity in the Middle East.

"Whenever there is tension abroad with some Muslims, American Muslims pay the price through acts of vandalism, hates crimes, acts of discrimination," Awad says.

Awad visited Harrisonburg on Sunday, and also went to a mosque in Falls Church where authorities were wondering whether a rash of car vandalism were hate crimes. In addition to the graffiti at the Harrisonburg mosque, Fairfax County Police say more than two dozen cars were damaged within a 3 mile radius of the Falls Churh house of worship. That now appears to have been random.

Vulgar graffiti also was discovered at a high school and a Christian school, according to the Associated Press. Local police say it's not clear that the vandalism was directed at Muslims. Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson calls the graffiti the work of "local knuckleheads'' that "would be offensive to a wide range of people.''

NPR

From Alaska To The Himalayas, 'Voyager' Embarks On Self-Discovery

NPR's Scott Simon talks with writer Russell Banks about his new book, "Voyager." It's a collection of travel writing that also reads like a memoir.
NPR

Farmers Wait, And Wait, For Guest Workers Amid H-2A Visa Delays

For the third year in a row, the H-2A visa program is running behind. That's left farmers waiting for planters and pickers even as the harvest season is well underway.
NPR

Focus On Libertarian Election Amid Voter Discontent Over Clinton-Trump Race

NPR's Scott Simon talks to Libertarian journalist and editor-in-chief of Reason.com, Nick Gillespie, about the possibility of a third party candidate.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.